How does Atticus' relationship with the Cunninghams show us a different side of Atticus in To Kill a Mockingbird?Thanks!

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I'm not so sure that Atticus really shows a different side of himself when dealing with the Cunningham family members in To Kill a Mockingbird. Atticus shows throughout the novel that he is a friend of nearly everyone in Maycomb (except for possibly the Ewell family). His neighbors come to him for advice, the Negroes of Maycomb obviously admire him, and the Cunninghams show their respect in several ways. Walter Cunningham Sr. chose Atticus to represent him when he was having legal problems, and Atticus told him not to worry about paying for his services; Cunningham eventually repaid Atticus with goods he had grown on his farm. Although Cunningham was one of the men who came to the jail to lynch Tom Robinson--and possibly harm Atticus in the process--he later thought better of it after Scout intervened and innocently conversed with him, changing his mind about the murderous plot he had undertaken. Atticus apparently won over the Cunninghams for good that night, since he later told his children that it was a Cunningham on the jury who was the last to give in and side with the others on a guilty verdict. Atticus displays a love of all people during the chapters, and it is one of his finest character traits.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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